Tissue Antigens. 2000 Mar;55(3):239-49.

HLA genes in Arabic-speaking Moroccans: close relatedness to Berbers and Iberians.

Gomez-Casado E, del Moral P, Martinez-Laso J, Garcia-Gomez A, Allende L, Silvera-Redondo C, Longas J, Gonzalez-Hevilla M, Kandil M, Zamora J, Arnaiz-Villena A.

Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, 12 de Octubre, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.

The gene profile of Arabic-speaking Moroccans has been compared with those of other Mediterranean populations in order to provide additional information about the history of their origins. Our HLA data suggest that most Moroccans are of a Berber (Imazighen) origin and that Arabs who invaded North Africa and Spain in the 7th century A.D. did not substantially contributed to the gene pool; however, they imposed their advanced culture and their religion. Present-day Egyptians are also related to Moroccan Berbers and this supports an ancient Saharan origin for part of the present-day Mediterraneans, particularly for the Arabic-speaking ones (also Algerians) and also for the older substratum of Mediterranean people.